Gemma has been working for Willmott Dixon for 10 years and was recently promoted to pre-construction manager, overseeing all tender and bid work for our Wales and the West office. Managing a team of 15, Gemma thrives on the diversity and variety in her role but didn’t always plan on a career in construction.
“At school I was actually really interested in art and English, but I was lucky to be made aware of the opportunities within the construction industry as my Dad was a lecturer in Construction in the built Environment.”
She continues “Through that course I got a real taste of all the possible roles in the construction industry, from bricklaying to management and surveying we got to experience the lot, which is where a lot of people miss out I think, as they are just not aware of the diversity of roles available to them”.
Although originally intending on a degree with Loughborough University, Gemma was given the opportunity to become a management trainee in quantity surveying for a construction firm, “that was something I would never have predicted, when quantity surveying was suggested my response was – ‘but I am no good at maths!’ it’s these preconceptions that we need to break down as I have honestly never looked back.”
Gemma then worked on several high profile projects before joining Willmott Dixon as commercial manager; “I really enjoyed working for here from the start, my roles have been interesting and challenging and what I really love is that every day is different. One of the most satisfying parts of working in construction is the team work aspect, everyone pulls together to build something amazing. I often drive past buildings and say ‘I built that!’ to my kids, not that I laid a brick of it, but that’s the point - there is so much more to creating a building than just laying the bricks.”
Gemma's advice to young women thinking about a career in construction:
“To be honest I think the most important thing is to understand the opportunities available – regardless of gender, no matter what your skill set is there is probably something that will appeal to you” she continued “the industry is changing a lot at the moment, and new technologies are coming to the forefront so different skill sets and competencies are required; the options are vast and often surprising.”